Sweet cream butter is produced using pasteurized cream and can be made with or without the addition of salt. On the other hand, regular butter is derived from cow’s milk that has undergone the process of culturing or fermentation, which can occur naturally or through the introduction of cultured bacteria.
Just like sweet cream butter, regular butter is available in salted and unsalted varieties. The distinction between sweet cream butter and regular butter lies in the source of their base ingredients and the processes involved in their production.
What Is Sweet Cream Butter?
Sweet cream butter is produced from pasteurized cow’s milk or cream that has not undergone fermentation. As a result, it possesses a naturally sweet and creamy taste, distinct from cultured butter, which can have a tangy flavor. Sweet cream butter is available in both salted and unsalted variations. The labeling of sweet cream butter can be misleading as it may give the impression that sugar has been added when it does not contain any. In the United States, sweet cream butter typically has a minimum butterfat content of 80% and is commonly used for everyday cooking and baking.
What Is Regular Butter?
Cultured butter, often called regular butter, distinguishes itself from other types of butter due to its longer churning process and the use of cultured or fermented cow’s milk. This results in a final product with a subtle sour or tangy flavor. Regular butter also contains a higher fat content than sweet cream butter, contributing to its vibrant yellow color and lending a richer texture. Like sweet cream butter, regular butter is available in salted and unsalted variations.
Uses Of Sweet Cream Butter
Baking: Sweet cream butter is a versatile ingredient in baking, adding richness and flavor to cookies, cakes, and pastries.
Cooking: It is commonly used for sautéing vegetables, frying eggs, or basting meats to enhance the taste and texture of dishes.
Spreading: Sweet cream butter is delicious when spread on toast, muffins, or bagels, offering a creamy and indulgent taste.
Sauces and Gravies: It can create smooth and velvety sauces and gravies, adding a luscious texture and depth of flavor.
Uses Of Regular Butter
Baking: Regular butter, with its slightly tangy flavor, adds a unique taste to baked goods like croissants, pie crusts, and scones.
Sautéing and Frying: Regular butter can be used for cooking vegetables, meats, and fish, providing a rich and savory flavor.
Toast Topping: Spread regular butter on warm toast for a classic and comforting breakfast option.
Flavor Enhancer: Use regular butter to enrich and enhance the taste of mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, or roasted meats.
Finishing Touch: A pat of regular butter added to the top of a hot steak, grilled corn, or cooked pasta can melt and create a delicious finishing touch, adding richness and flavor.
Differences Between Sweet Cream Butter And Simple Butter
Source of Cream
Sweet cream butter is made from fresh pasteurized cream, while regular butter is often made from cream that is not necessarily fresh. The cream’s source can impact the butter’s flavor and texture.
As the name suggests, sweet cream butter has a sweet and light flavor, while regular butter can have a more robust and varied flavor. The difference in flavor is primarily due to the freshness of the cream used.
Sweet cream butter is not cultured, meaning that it is not fermented. Regular butter, on the other hand, can be either cultured or not. Cultured butter is made by fermenting the cream before churning, which gives it a tangy flavor.
Sweet cream butter is usually unsalted, while regular butter can be salted or unsalted. Salt is often added to butter to extend its shelf life and enhance its flavor.
Sweet cream butter usually has a lighter color compared to regular butter. This color difference is mainly due to the freshness of the cream and the absence of fermentation in sweet cream butter.
Both sweet cream butter and regular butter have similar fat content. However, the type of cream used can slightly affect the fat content. Fresh cream tends to have a slightly higher fat content.
Sweet cream butter is often used in baking due to its light and sweet flavor. Regular butter, especially cultured butter, is often used in cooking where a more robust flavor is desired.
Sweet cream butter’s smoke point is lower than regular butter’s, meaning regular butter can be used at a higher heat without the risk of burning.
Storage Of Sweet Cream Butter And Regular Butter
Both sweet cream butter and regular butter should be stored in airtight containers or wrapped tightly in foil or wax paper to prevent them from absorbing odors or picking up off-flavors from other foods in the refrigerator. They can be stored in the fridge for several weeks or longer periods in the freezer for optimal freshness.
Sweet Cream Butter And Regular Butter Brands
Horizon Organic is a brand that produces organic dairy products, including both sweet cream butter and regular butter. Their sweet cream butter is known for its smooth and creamy texture, while their regular butter offers a classic buttery flavor.
Organic Valley is another brand offering sweet cream butter and regular butter options. Their sweet cream butter is made from pasteurized organic cream and has a rich, creamy taste. Their regular butter provides a slightly tangy flavor thanks to the culturing process.
Kerrygold is well-known for its Irish butter, which includes sweet cream and regular butter varieties. Their sweet cream butter is made from the milk of grass-fed cows, resulting in a rich and creamy taste. Their regular butter has a slightly tangy flavor due to the traditional Irish culturing process.
Land O’Lakes is a brand offering sweet cream butter and regular butter options. Their sweet cream butter is known for its creamy texture and rich flavor, while their regular butter provides a slightly tangy taste.
Challenge Butter is another brand that produces both sweet cream butter and regular butter. Their sweet cream butter is prized for its creamy consistency and flavor, while their regular butter offers a slightly tangier profile.
Taste And Texture Of Sweet Cream Butter And Regular Butter
Sweet cream butter has a smooth, creamy texture with a mild and slightly sweet flavor. It lacks the tanginess in regular butter due to the absence of culturing or fermentation.
Regular butter, on the other hand, has a creamy and rich texture with a subtle tangy or slightly sour flavor. The culturing or fermentation process gives it a unique taste profile distinguishing it from sweet cream butter.
Why Does My Butter Smell?
Butter can develop a strong or off-smell due to exposure to air, absorption of odors from other foods in the refrigerator, or if it has gone rancid. Proper storage in an airtight container and avoiding prolonged exposure to air can help prevent unpleasant odors.
Can You Freeze Regular Butter?
Yes, regular butter can be frozen to extend its shelf life. Wrapping it tightly in freezer-safe packaging is recommended to prevent freezer burn. When ready to use, thaw it in the refrigerator before incorporating it into recipes or spreading it.
Does Sweet Cream Butter Need To Be Refrigerated?
Sweet cream butter should be refrigerated to maintain its freshness and prevent spoilage. It is best stored in an airtight container or its original packaging to protect it from absorbing odors from other foods in the refrigerator.
Is Sweet Cream Butter Healthier Than Regular Butter?
The healthiness of butter depends on individual dietary needs and preferences. Both sweet cream butter and regular butter contain similar amounts of fat and calories. However, regular butter may have slight nutritional differences due to the culturing process. Consuming butter in moderation is advisable as part of a balanced diet.